What Are Pre-Workout Supplements (and Should You Take Them)?
Getting the most out of your workouts depends on a lot of factors. You should try to get a proper amount of sleep, eat nutritious foods, and work out when you have enough time and energy. You should also make sure you are working out with the right equipment and lifting the right amount of weight.
However, in addition to making the right lifestyle and exercise choices to maximize your workout results, you may also want to consider taking pre-workout supplements. Pre-workout supplements have the potential to help that you experience the most effective workout possible, and you may experience health benefits from taking them.
Read on to get a better understanding of what pre-workout supplements are, and decide whether you want to incorporate them into your routine before you exercise.
So, What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?
A supplement is any product that you consume that adds extra vitamins, minerals, or nutrients to your body. Pre-workout supplements are simply supplements that were designed and created for people to take before they workout.
While all pre-workout supplements differ based on their ingredients, composition, and purpose, most were designed in order to help people work harder during their workouts, and to reap greater (or faster) results.
Pre-workout supplements can come in many forms. They may be in powder form, which you can stir into a liquid and drink. Alternatively, they may come in pill or capsule form, which you could swallow like a medicine. Alternatively, pre-workout supplements may be included in a food, like a bar, which you can eat and digest to experience the benefits.
What Types of Pre-Workout Supplements Are There?
There are many companies that make pre-workout supplements, and there are many types of pre-workout supplements that people can choose from. Pre-workout supplements can vary in form, effect, combination, strength, and more. Here is a look at some of the most popular pre-workout supplements that are available today.
It's the thing in your coffee that wakes you up in the morning, and it also gives you the energy to power through your workouts at the gym. Many pre-workout supplement mixes contain caffeine to give you that natural energy boost.
Creatine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements. Muscles have creatine in them naturally, and when you take them as a supplement, your muscles can make more energy so that you can lift heavier weights and endure higher intensity exercise.
Beta-Alanine is an amino acid. Another name for Beta-Alanine is
3-aminopropanoic acid. Beta-Alanine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements for people who want to build muscle, because it raises levels of carnosine in the muscles, which results in your being able to increase the amount of high-intensity work you can do while you work out.
Theacrine is relatively new to the market as a pre-workout supplement. Sold as TeaCrine, theacrine is very similar to caffeine. In fact, it is also an alkaloid that has a similar physical structure as caffeine does. People take theacrine before a workout to increase their energy levels and to combat fatigue. TheaCrine is also known to have antioxidant properties that can improve health beyond simply making workouts better. TheaCrine is found in Kucha tea, and it has been consumed as a health supplement by many civilizations for centuries. Read the Ultimate Guide to TeaCrine here.
Dynamine is a popular pre-workout supplement that is known to increase energy and focus. It also boosts your mood. Dynamine is known to work on the dopamine levels in your body, and it can also make you feel euphoric. In addition to improving your mood, Dynamine also helps you increase the amount of energy you feel like you can expend. Check out our Breakdown on Dynamine here.
Do Pre-Workout Supplements Actually Help?
You may be wondering--can a supplement actually help me work out harder or better? The answer is: yes. Studies have shown that taking certain pre-workout supplements can improve the effects of a workout.
For example, in a study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that taking pre-workout supplements delayed exercise fatigue and improved both reaction time and muscular endurance. The supplements tested in this particular study contained caffeine, B-vitamins, amino acids, creatine, and beta-alanine.
Another study showed that pre-workout supplements that included a special pre-workout formula (with ingredients beyond caffeine) improved concentration, boosted focus, and lessened fatigue.
So, if you want to have more energy, increase your endurance, and enjoy a better reaction time, supplements are a way to do just that.
Should You Take Pre-Workout Supplements?
Scientific studies have proven that pre-workout supplements improve workouts. However, how do you know whether you are a good candidate for pre-workout supplements, or whether the supplements aren't for you?
Here are some ways to know if you're a good candidate for a pre-workout supplement:
You're trying to build endurance.
The only way to build endurance is to push your limits. Take a pre-workout supplement if you want to go longer and harder--so you can keep going longer and harder.
You're feeling fatigued.
Life can be tiring. If you're feeling particularly fatigued, but you still need to train, a pre-workout supplement can give you the energy boost you need to get to the gym.
You are not feeling motivated.
It takes motivation to workout. Motivation is what keeps you pushing and it's required in order to push through the pain of a tough workout. A pre-workout supplement can help improve your mood so you feel happier about going to the gym, and it can ensure that you're able to push through workouts, even when you'd rather be sitting on the couch.
You need to bounce back fast.
Experts believe that pre-workout supplements can help reduce the amount of muscle breakdown you experience. This means that you feel less sore after a workout, and that you're able to bounce back quickly and tackle another workout. If you have an important game or competition coming up, or you need to be physical soon after your workout, consider taking a supplement that includes amino acids.
Common Pre-Workout Supplement Mistakes
If you're considering taking pre-workout supplements, it can help to learn about common mistakes people make with the supplements, so you can avoid making these same errors.
Don't take them at the gym, before you get on the machines.
Pre-workout supplements must be digested and absorbed before they actually start to help your body. If you wait to take them until you get to the gym, they won't have a chance to take effect before you start exercising, and you will be missing the point.
Don't double up with caffeine
Skip your giant cup of coffee before you take a pre-workout supplement that has a lot of caffeine in it. Taking too much caffeine can make you feel jittery, or it can make you feel anxious. It can also make you shaky. These things can result in your feeling uncomfortable or physically incapable of pushing yourself at the gym.
Don't take them on an empty supplement.
If you're taking a pre-workout supplement in pill form, make sure you eat something first. The ingredients can be hard on your stomach, and you don't want to have a belly ache before you are heading to work out.
Pre-Workout Supplements to Consider Purchasing
If you are considering taking a pre-workout supplements, there are many options available to you. Some of the best include:
- Yeah Buddy: Yeah Buddy is a combination of pre-workout supplements that comes in powder form. Take in 10 oz. of water 15 to 20 minutes before your work or activity, and you can enjoy the benefits of L-Citrulline, Caffeine, Beta-Alanine, and TeaCrine. Yeah Buddy is used for increasing blood flow, giving you energy, improving muscle endurance, and boosting focus. Yeah Buddy is for anyone who wants better, longer workouts that have great results.
- Stacked-N.O. Capsules: A pre-workout supplement that comes in capsule form is Stacked-N.O. Stacked N.O. is a pre-workout supplement for people looking to build muscles. It has L-Citrulline and Agmatin in it. It also has L-Ornithine, which is an amino acid that is used by the body to increase its production of nitric oxide. Other ingredients include AstraGin and HICA.
- PRE XS: Like its name suggests, PRE XS is one of the best pre-workout supplements to take for increasing your energy. The powder has TeaCrine, Carnosyn Beta Alanine for combating muscle fatigue, and BioPerine, which is an absorption enhancer, so your body can better absorb nutrients and you can push yourself harder. This is a good supplement to take before a workout for any type of athlete.
Ultimately, pre-workout supplements are a helpful tool for people who want to get the most from their workouts. By learning what the best pre-workout supplements are for your goals, then ensuring that you take a proper dosage, you can take advantage of their benefits and reap the rewards that they can bring. Consult with your doctor before you start taking pre-workout supplements, and you can also be certain that you're taking them in a way that will only benefit your body and mood.